I've always thought that 18th and 19th C. wrought iron belonged, with early lighting, in a separate category. Crafted largely of wrought and tinned iron and brass, the products of
early metalsmiths were designed for use but infused with personal style. They furnished
the kitchen, equipped the hearth, provided the light and made life in the colonies possible. Today these same pieces make life enjoyable as well. We'll bring you the best we can
find and we guarantee their authenticity.
Halsey Munson Americana
204 North Summit Avenue
Decatur, Illinois 62522
All rights reserved.
Signed and Dated Traveling Lantern
Signed and dated mid-19th C. traveling candle lantern in original asphaltum surface. Open, 3” square and 5” high. Folded, 3” x 2” x ¾”. Mica windows, swiveling candle socket, even a rack for extra candles and matches. An identical lantern now in the Ford Museum is shown on p. 193 of Antiques Treasury.
Intact 19th C. American Candle Box
19th C. American hanging candle box with hinges, hasp and catch all original. Wire-rolled edges on the lid, convex ends with crimped seams. 10 ½”L. The black paint is quite old, probably the 2nd half of the 19th C., but I don’t think it’s original. I think it was applied when rust spots appeared on the surface of the tinned sheet iron. The edges of the hanger tabs are wire-rolled as well, the punched holes have excellent wear, and unusual oval soldered braces support the angle of the tabs.
Signed 18th C. Box Wax Jack
One of the less common forms of 18th C. wax jack. Most are much more elaborate with spring-loaded jaws and embellished columns. This is a simple box wax jack that probably would have sat on a desk; a canister with a lid mounting the equivalent of a candle socket. The wax snake is contained in the base and pulled up through the candle socket as it burned low. Typically, these provided the wax to seal letters and other documents. For the sake of accuracy there is denting to the loop handle. 3½”H x 3”W.
Ca. 1800 Wrought Iron & Brass Chandelier
Early 19th C. wrought iron and brass four socket chandelier of unusual size. 9” in diameter and 15” high. The sockets are wrapped cones and their bases are riveted through the circular iron rim and peened over on the underside. Wrought iron chandeliers that combine forged iron with turned brass embellishment are extremely rare. This one appears to be the work of a country smith, perhaps made for an alcove or the sacristy in a village church. All original. Small chandeliers of this sort are generally attributed to ecclesiastical use. Probably English. SOLD
Early 19th C. Forged Iron
Superb early 19th C. small ratcheting lighting trammel. Certainly the best trammel of this size I’ve ever owned. If your hot buttons are bird’s head finials and snake-form hanger hooks, this probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if a simply made forged iron trammel meant for betty lamps and other hanging lighting forms appeals to you, you might want to take a closer look, because this one is gorgeous! Delicate, but with excellent tool marks, perfect wear patterns and exceptional surface. It extends from 8½” to 11½”. Absolutely a gem!
The Best Bed Warmer I've Ever Seen
Extraordinary early to mid-18th C. bed warming pan in brass, copper and forged iron. The pan’s copper alloy lid is decorated in raised brass with a 5-spoke pinwheel, butterflies between the spokes, in the center a horse with one hoof raised, all enclosed within an embossed rope-patterned rim. The lid is densely pierced with circles, hearts and birds. Forged iron throat, smoke-blackened turned walnut handle, hammered brass pan apparently dovetailed then skimmed. The pan was repaired at the rim and at the hinge at some point with heavy copper and brass rivets. 48”L and 13” in diameter. Without even a close second, this is the best and probably also the earliest warming pan I’ve ever seen. Dutch or French, ca. 1700-1750. $1,450
Very Good 18th C.
Wrought Iron Rushlight
Late 18th to early 19th century wrought iron combination candle and rush holder. The jaws are counterweighted by a single candle socket. Tripod base with penny feet. Excellent form. American or English. 10” high x 6¼" wide (feet). For similar examples, see Iron at Winterthur by Fennimore, Fig. 77 and Antique Iron: Survey of American and English Forms by the Schiffers, Pg. 252.
Early 19th C. Chamberstick
Ca. 1825-1830 heavy brass chamberstick with accompanying witch’s hat douter. Seamed construction with wire-rolled rim and original lifter tab. Mellow oxidized surface, perfect condition. England. 5¾”H.
Polychrome Delft Candle Lantern
Rare 19th C. Delft candle lantern in underglaze polychrome decoration. Original glass in all three windows. Part of metal door latch missing. No breaks or cracks and very little fritting. Excellent condition overall. 8½” to the roof peak, 4½” square.
True Pair of 17th C. Brass Tapersticks
Extremely scarce true pair of brass solid cast 17th C. tapersticks. Where the nozzle diameter of 17th and 18th C. full-sized candlesticks varied roughly from 7/8” to 1¼”, tapersticks took smaller candles that would fit candle cups ranging from 1/2” to 5/8”. In addition to increasing illumination, tapersticks provided the wax that sealed letters and documents. 4¼”H x 4”D. In the current market, authentic tapersticks have become exceptionally rare. Dutch or Flemish. 1650-1700.
Rare American Lantern in Original Blue
Though typically sold as American, the vast majority of wooden barn lanterns of this general form are English or European. Very nice pieces, just not American. This one is. 11½” tall and 6” on a side. Access to the interior is via a sliding glass pane. The candle is secured by the threads of a screw driven up from beneath. There is significant charring in the top board and shrinkage cracks from heat which have been reinforced from within. The heavy wrought iron handle is almost certainly original. There are many barn lanterns. This one is for the collector who knows the difference.
American Painted Tinware Chamberstick
Exceedingly rare early 19th C. American painted tinware chamberstick in absolutely original condition. No breaks or inpainting. Berlin, CT. Ca. 1800-1853. In the entire four volumes of Martin and Tucker’s detailed study of American Painted Tinware, only one chamberstick is illustrated. This one is Ex-Austin and Jill Fine and their collection sticker is on the underside.
Early Brass Miniature Chamberstick
Rare and wonderful true miniature brass go-to-bed chamber stick. Sheet brass pan with flaring sides and rolled edges. Seamed brass candle tube braised to the pan with a bulbous brass collar. Probably a child’s chamber stick, because the candle tube and bobeche show signs of repeated use. Likely English, possibly Birmingham, ca. 1800-1820.
Rare Triple Wick Betty Lamp
Most betty lamps run on oil drawn up through a wick supported in a tubular metal channel. Occasionally you find one with two wick supports. Those are rare and for the collector very desirable. This, however, is the only period betty lamp I’ve ever seen with three wick supports. The reservoir has a shape that exactly reverses the form of the typical betty. The reservoir cover is tinned sheet iron. The shaft of the hanger hook is decorated with twistwork and a wick pick is present. Probably early 19th C.
Miner's Betty with Heart Terminal
Early betty lamp made in the first quarter of the 1800s specifically for miners. Called “Frog lamps,” they were ruggedly constructed for the conditions. Iron reservoir brass soldered to an iron base plate, with a hanger arm that terminates in a heart-shaped brass badge decorated with crossed rock hammers. A virtually identical frog lamp signed “Henry Bok” was sold several years ago at Green Valley Auctions. And p. 222 of Fire and Light illustrates a miner’s lamp with the same crossed hammers symbol on its heart-shaped brass badge.
Miniature Knife Blade Andirons
Pair of wrought iron miniature knife blade andirons with brass ball and acorn finials. Perfect form and unpolished surface. No one knows with certainty why a particular miniature form of anything was made: Possibly for a child, possibly as a piece created by an apprentice to demonstrate his skills to his master, or possibly, as may have been the case in Pennsylvania, “Just for nice”—a piece made purely for its decorative value. But until the second half of the 19th C. pieces like these were rarely, if ever, “salesman’s samples.” Ca. 1790-1820. 5¾H” x 4”D.